Hope Chest

  • Advertise with us
Project by Gofor posted 10-05-2010 03:13 AM 5582 views 4 times favorited 16 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is a hope chest I made for my Grand-niece (I am her surrogate “Grand-pa” as both her real grandpa’s are deceased). Made of solid quarter-sawed white oak with eastern red cedar lining, and features removable trays, one which has a locking top. Dimensions are 40” long x 20” tall x 18” deep. The cedar panels are removable should someone near to her be allergic to them. The floating panels (all four sides) are book-matched, with the exception of the front horizontal ones, which are book-matched on the opposite side

In keeping with the “tree-cycle” philosophy: The 54” diameter tree this wood came from, which took root in North Carolina about the time of the U.S.A. Civil War (1860’s), was split by Hurricane Fran in 1996. It took about 11 years to die, and the owner of the property called a friend of mine who is a sawyer to harvest the wood so that it would not be lost as firewood. He milled it and kiln-dried it, and I was the lucky recipient (purchaser) of about 80 bf of nice lumber. I used about 50bf in this project.

Labor of love, far from perfect, but best I could do with what I have.

Thanks for looking. All critiques/criticisms and suggestions for future improvements in my endeavors are welcomed.

Thanks for looking.


-- Go

16 comments so far

View Dan Hux's profile

Dan Hux

577 posts in 3341 days

#1 posted 10-05-2010 03:21 AM

that is a very nice chest, well done sir..

-- Dan Hux,,,,Raleigh, NC

View firecaster's profile


572 posts in 3385 days

#2 posted 10-05-2010 03:41 AM

I hope your niece knows how lucky she is to have you. This is a tremendous gift.

-- Father of two sons. Both Eagle Scouts.

View Richard 's profile


394 posts in 3088 days

#3 posted 10-05-2010 03:50 AM

I like the story behind the oak tree. I make chests too and I usually include a letter explaining where the tree came from, its history, ect. Also inside the letter I also include a few seeds from the tree and I tell people to go out and plant the next generation of trees. People seem to like this thought.

I like the design of your chest, the floating panels have a unique look to them. The removable trays are a nice touch. I never heard anyone being allergic to cedar, but I guess some are. I also like the shape of the bottom banding which keeps the chest off of the floor. Overall your chest is pleasing to the eye and is sure to be passed down from generation to generation. I hope you added your brand and date for all the next generations to see.

-- Richard Boise, Idaho

View lightweightladylefty's profile


3235 posts in 3679 days

#4 posted 10-05-2010 04:27 AM

This is a very beautiful chest that your grand-niece will treasure. It will surely become an heirloom.

Thanks for posting.


-- Jesus is the ONLY reason for ANY season.

View Broglea's profile


684 posts in 3058 days

#5 posted 10-05-2010 04:43 AM

This is one of the nicer chests that I’ve seen. Your niece is very lucky.

View Jamie Speirs's profile

Jamie Speirs

4168 posts in 2823 days

#6 posted 10-05-2010 04:54 AM

It is super.
I like your added attention to detail of the locking box, important for a young lady.

I like the fact that you have the full history of the tree. It would be nice to put those details and a picture of the tree in the box. I’m sure it will be of future historical interest.

-- Who is the happiest of men? He who values the merits of others, and in their pleasure takes joy, even as though 'twere his own. --Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

View cwdance1's profile


1158 posts in 3226 days

#7 posted 10-05-2010 04:54 AM

Great story and an even better project.

View a1Jim's profile


117063 posts in 3544 days

#8 posted 10-05-2010 04:57 AM

Wonderful hope chest a great design ,beautiful.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View ND2ELK's profile


13495 posts in 3741 days

#9 posted 10-05-2010 05:10 AM

Beautiful looking chest. Very nicely done. Thanks for posting.

God Bless

-- Mc Bridge Cabinets, Iowa

View RS Woodworks's profile

RS Woodworks

533 posts in 3218 days

#10 posted 10-05-2010 05:43 AM

Very very nice indeed.
Sure looks perfect to me!
I’d like to see another pic with how the trays fit inside…


-- I restore the finest vintage tools! If you need a nice plane, saw, marking tool or brace, please let me know!

View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13345 posts in 3640 days

#11 posted 10-05-2010 05:53 AM

Nice hope chest.

View BTKS's profile


1986 posts in 3431 days

#12 posted 10-05-2010 04:29 PM

I love the clean lines and classic look. The drawer inserts are great. If I ever get around to a blanket or hope chest I will steal this idea. My wife has wanted one over 12 or 13 years now, still on the list and seems to be moving down the list.
Good job, BTKS

-- "Man's ingenuity has outrun his intelligence" (Joseph Wood Krutch)

View Gofor's profile


470 posts in 3754 days

#13 posted 10-06-2010 01:09 AM

Thank you for all the kind words. As far as “stealing the idea”, anyone here is welcome to duplicate the design. It came out of my head, but was surely influenced by many other’s I have seen. By the way, the tray dividers are also removable.

Beings I don’t know how to add a picture to the original post, here is one with trays in the chest as requested by Ryan: They sit on the top cedar liner retainer, so do not affect items stored below its bottom edge. The slides/handles (for want of a better term) are screwed on, so they can be removed if the tray is to be used elsewhere or someone wants to place the tray in the bottom of the box.

As far as the wife goes, my niece almost ended up with the cheap store-bought one at the foot of our bed, as LOML really liked this one. Guess I’d better get busy, huh?

hope chest


-- Go

View Howie's profile


2656 posts in 2890 days

#14 posted 10-06-2010 01:32 AM

Outstanding , I’m going to build my granddaughter one and you have given me some good ideas. Great job.

-- Life is good.

View Jim Crockett (USN Retired)'s profile

Jim Crockett (USN Retired)

852 posts in 3700 days

#15 posted 10-06-2010 03:22 AM

Wonderful chest and I’m sure your grand-niece is thrilled with it. You put a lot of thought into the design of this chest – the removable cedar, capability to use the trays separately or in the bottom of the chest. I particularly like the floating panels. You did a wonderful job – you should be very proud!


-- A veteran is someone who, at one point in his/her life, wrote a blank check made payable to "The United States of America," for an amount of "up to and including his/her life".

showing 1 through 15 of 16 comments

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics